The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires all F-1 students to be full-time enrolled each long semester (fall and spring) and, in some cases, summer sessions, in order to maintain F-1 status. See the full-time enrollment requirements webpage for more information about required semesters. Occasionally an F-1 student can be authorized by the UT Dallas ISSO to take a reduced course load and still maintain F-1 status.
In order to maintain F-1 status, a student must obtain written authorization from an international student advisor prior to reducing his or her course load.
Reduced Course Load due to Academic Reasons
Students in the following situations may be eligible for reduced enrollment, if documented by an international student advisor and the appropriate academic professionals:
- Initial difficulties with the English language
- Initial difficulties with reading requirements
- Unfamiliarity with American teaching methods
- Improper course level placement
Reduced Course Load due to Medical Reasons
Students in the following situations may be eligible for reduced enrollment, if documented by an international student advisor and the appropriate medical professional:
- Serious medical illness or condition
Reduced Course Load due to Curricular Practical Training
Students who are participate in a full time CPT which lasts for 11 weeks or more may be eligible for reduced enrollment every other long semester (i.e., students who reduce enrollment due to full time CPT in the fall, can next reduce enrollment due to full time CPT in the following fall).
Reduced Course Load due to Completion of Degree Requirements in the Current Term
Students who are completing their degree requirements in the current term are only required to enroll in the courses needed to complete their studies provided they apply for graduation by Census Day of the graduating term. However, if only one course is required, it cannot be online or hybrid.
There are a number of eligibility requirements and restrictions. Please speak to an international student advisor for more information.